Enjoying RVing one Great State at a time
Explore the best National parks and Monuments throughout the bold Southwest
National Parks Pass & National Forests
If you’re really going to go on a southwest RVing road trip, you should get a national parks pass, also known as an America the Beautiful Pass. Did you know that if you’re over 62 years old, you can qualify for the senior pass which is a lifetime pass offering access to more than 2000 recreation sites?
There are five national forests in Arizona, also part of the park service, including Coconino in Flagstaff Arizona, Coronado in Douglas, Kaibab in Williams, and Prescott which borders Kaibab, Coconino, and Tonto National Forest. Tonto, one of the most visited National Forests in the U.S., (approximately 5.8 million visitors annually) is the fifth largest forest in the United States. Some popular activities you can find people doing are tubing down the Salt River or fly fishing. You might also occasionally catch a glimpse of the Salt River Wild Horses.
The Grand Canyon, with all its beauty, is one national park that is memorable. The Petrified Forest is unique as is Saguaro near Tucson, AZ. The giant saguaro, also from Tucson which is home to the nation’s largest cacti, is the symbol of the American west. Any RVer would be remiss not to include Big Bend, which is well worth visiting. There are a multitude of New Mexico national monuments, starting with Bandelier in Los Alamos, the Fort Union in Watrous, and Kasha-Katuwe tent rocks in Santa Fe. Bandelier's history is well known and is a reminder of the strong ties of the modern pueblo people. Fort Union functioned as an agent of political and cultural change in the late 1800's for forty years in New Mexico and throughout the southwest.
Any visit to the Historical Parks should definitely include a trip to New Mexico’s Pecos National Historical Park, as well as Fort Davis National Historic Site (Texas), and the Lyndon B Johnson National Historical Park in Johnson City, TX and last but not least the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio, TX. LBJ National Historical Park will allow you to learn the story of our 36th President beginning with his ancestors until his final resting place at LBJ Ranch. For Pecos, in the midst of the ponderosa pine woodlands in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains not far from Santa Fe, the remains of Indian pueblos stand as stark reminders of people who once dwelled here and why it is often called, "Gateway to the Plains".